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Lighthouse - September, 2016.

Chairman’s Message


T S Kaladharan

Being able to share some good news invariably makes us happy. After months of hard work from my colleagues, CSS has started its services from Qatar and Oman. This is a great and proud event for all of us at CSS, not least, because this achievement is the result of collective effort by all our staff and stake holders.  This is a truly justified reason for all of us to be happy.

It’s is true that significant moments aren’t just about opening new offices or even having a new presence. An occasion becomes noteworthy because it inaugurates the beginning of another success story. With a continued belief in ourselves, hard work and a commitment to our future, we can be sure that our efforts will not go unnoticed in these new regions of the Middle East.

I never forget my roots and an ability to take farsighted decisions based on our abilities and ethics.  CSS was founded in 1995 and has grown to become a reputed name in the freight forwarding and logistics businesses, throughout the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. To achieve this success, at certain points of growth, critical decision taking was required. When the business forecasts demands a change in your existing pattern, it is better to switch over to a more convenient form of progress rather than to try and rectify the current one. My experiences underscore my belief that to hold back a decision, because of uncertainty, is a crime which cannot be pardoned.

We are at an historic CSS landmark because we have taken a decision to commence CSS services provision, utilising our infrastructure and highly experienced staff, in Oman and Qatar. I am confident that this step, involving as it does two major economic power centres in the Middle East, will prove to be the right decision at the right time. I still get the same excitement, when taking decisions, as it did way back in 1995. This current decision equally excites me and I happily anticipate success for us all at CSS and our stake holders.


The Beginning Of A New Era


CSS Group officially announces its Qatar operations

In a landmark move CSS Group opens its office in Doha and announces its Qatar services. Console Shipping Services W.L.L, as the brand being known in Qatar, offers end to end shipping and logistics solutions with its own infrastructure and a pool of trained manpower.  Being a part of the renowned CSS Group, gives CSS Qatar an edge to all its operations and leverage amongst the leaders, with a wide network of partners globally. CSS Qatar ensures that world class services will be offered on all segments of its operations.

Qatar has proved to be one of the strongest Middle East economies and business power centers in the recent past. The country is rich in gas and oil reserves, ranking it third on the list of the world’s biggest gas reserves. Qatar has quickly become a huge economic hub as a result of the Emir’s directives of fully utilizing the gas and oil resources of the country for the welfare of its citizens, by means of integrated processes of oil and gas exploration and industrialization.

Transport upgrades are leading construction industry growth in Qatar, following rapid expansion and billions of dollars’ worth of new contracts awarded in recent years. The 2022 FIFA World Cup has created an impetus to finish a number of critical transport projects on time, including thousands of kilometers of road and expressway upgrades and construction, the new Hamad Port and a major three-part rail programme. Expansion of the recently opened Hamad International Airport (HIA) also advanced in 2015 when authorities released detailed designs for the next phase of construction, which will nearly double existing capacity – a welcome upgrade, given that the airport is already operating above capacity. Under the broader Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) development plan, these projects will pave the way for future growth across all sectors of the economy, reducing bottlenecks and traffic congestion, improving trade and investment opportunities, and supporting ongoing efforts to diversify the economy.


New Facility Getting Completed


The new facility of CSS Group is soon to be functional in Jebel Ali

CSS Facility will soon be functional in Jebel Ali. The new administrative and additional warehouse facility will increase the existing operational area to a great extent. The administrative block will be the Regional Head Quarters of the Company. Adjacent to the existing office building and the CFS, the new facility will increase the storage capacity of CSS, which in-turn will benefit the ever growing demand for warehousing facility inside JAFZA. Once commissioned, the new infrastructure will bring in an additional 47,850 Sq. Ft to CSS Group’s existing 3 PL facilities in the Middle East. The new facility will have double deep racking facility. The storage area will have state of the art facilities.

The work which was started less than a year ago was completed in record time. The space will go live once the final approvals are received from the Government authorities, which the company is expecting, soon to happen. The ground breaking ceremony of the facility in JAFZA was attended by Dr. Mohammad Al Banna, Vice President – MEA Region, Economic Zones World, Malayalam Cine actor Mr. Anoop Menon, Mr. Srinivas from Orbit engineering consultants & Mr. Ajit T P from Space Max Contracting L.L.C.

3PL Logistics Solutions from CSS Group 

Consolidated Shipping Services Group is one of the leading names in the field of 3PL logistics in the Middle East. With the vast assets in terms of professional manpower and infrastructure, CSS provides the finest 3PL logistics solutions to a cross section of industry giants. Working with CSS brings in benefits for both the customer and supplier through accurate, well-managed inventory and supply chain solutions. CSS Group own and operate one of the largest network of warehouses in the UAE. Our third party logistics offer an integrated solution for assembly, packaging, warehousing, and distribution.


Skid Movement


CSS Sales Jebel Ali team has done a movement from Al Quoz to Dry Dock for a FPSO project. One cooling water circulation Pump Skid was the machinery. The skid weighing 53 tons with a volume of 291.43 CBM was handled by a well-trained team of CSS. As is the practice, extensive study and survey was conducted as part of this movement regarding the Origin, destination and the travel route. Each point of the entire project was carefully assessed to ensure a fool proof and smooth journey of the cargo. Dimensions of the Skid was 9.2 x 7.2 x 4.4 meters (L x W x H). Loading and transportation was the scope of work for CSS. Superlift cranes weighing 500 tons were engaged for the process.

“All sorts of licenses required for the move were in place and technical teams were involved for a fool-proof movement process. Such project movements give us chances to understand something new always.” commented Hinna Hussain, Team Manager, Sales Jebel Ali team. The entire team did a commendable job on this project movement, as mentioned by the CSS Senior Management.


Ships and Shipbuilding


Phoenician Vessels 

The most able shipbuilders of ancient times were those of Phoenicia, about 2000 BC, who constructed not only merchant vessels capable of carrying large cargoes, but also warships larger and more effective than any built by their contemporaries, the Egyptians and the Aegeans. The Phoenicians’ most significant contribution was the round boat—a broad-beamed ship that depended principally on sails rather than oars and provided a much larger cargo-space than the narrow galleys. Phoenician round ships travelled the Mediterranean and beyond: to Britain (for trade in tin), and probably far south along the African coast.

Phoenician shipbuilders are also credited with developing bireme and trireme galleys, in which the oars were arranged in two or three banks. Multi-banked galleys are a matter of scholarly dispute. Some authorities, who doubt that the quinqueremes of the Greeks and Romans actually had five banks of oars, suggest that the term means merely that five rowers were assigned to an oar.


CSS Oman On The Move


Comprehensive Consolidated Trade and Shipping L.L.C- Oman
CSS Group proudly announces its commencement of services from Oman with the brand known as Comprehensive Consolidated Trade and Shipping L.L.C. Being a part of the CSS Group, gives CCTS Oman access to an impressive network of global partners which leads them to all corners of the world. CCTS Oman ensures that world class services being offered on all segments of its operations with a touch of professionalism. CSS Group has recently completed two decades of service in the Middle East recently. CSS, is already present at Sohar with their association with the Arkan Sohar group.
Sultanate of Oman is one of the fastest growing economies in the Arabian Peninsula. Oman has a terrain encompassing desert, riverbed oases and long coastlines on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman. Oman has modest oil reserves, ranking 25th globally. Nevertheless, in 2010 the UNDP ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. A significant portion of its economy is tourism and trade of fish, dates, and certain agricultural produce. This sets it apart from its neighbors’ solely oil-dependent economy. Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 74th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index.
Oman continues to capitalise on its geographical position, increasingly establishing itself as a major transshipment centre for traffic between Europe, Africa and Asia with ongoing development and expansion plans at various ports in the sultanate, particularly at Duqm where a new port and dry-dock are being developed. Coordinating this maritime-based growth with land and air-side growth is also under way, with the 2011-15 five-year development plan earmarking $15.5bn for the national rail project; $6.2bn for airport expansion; and $3.1bn for road network development. Plans to connect the national railway project with the GCC-wide rail network will boost integration in the region, while airport and road expansions will solidify Oman’s growing reputation as a logistics hub and encourage the sultanate’s growing tourism sector.
Contact Details:

Comprehensive Consolidated Trade and shipping LLC
P.O Box is 815
117, First  Floor
Building A, Hatat Complex 
Wadi Adai, Muscat
Sultanate of Oman
Email: info@cssmuscat.com


Summer Move


Make your relocation a pleasant experience with CSS Homeward Bound

Summer is the most popular time of year to move and that means many millennials are packing their bags.

In fact, 44 percent of those young people say they plan to pull up stakes within the next year, according to rent increase.

Relocating for a job was the top reason people move. Typically, they go where the work is. People will jump on the opportunity to improve their skill sets and up their paycheck, so it’s very common they will change jobs half a dozen times for a career, as per experts.But moving from one location to another can be a huge hassle, not to mention a hit to your wallet.

Here are some tips to make your move a little easier financially and physically:

Start by mapping out your expenses in advance about 15 percent of consumers said they went into debt as a result of moving costs, according to Our research hiring unprofessional packing companies people spend more on repairs and end up buying new items.

The average cost of an unprofessional movers is AED 1000 and professional movers average AED 1500 to 2000, according to the UAE Moving & Storage market (that’s based on the average market research), Although for people with less stuff, the cost would be lower.

For do-it-yourselfers, contact CSS Homeward Bound and we will assist you and give you all the equipment to do it yourself. Homeward Bound will provide you calculator to determine what size moving truck you need, in addition to packing supplies. Although the cost varies by location, renting a 15-foot moving truck will set you back about AED 500 a day plus. Securing a truck that is too large will waste money on gas and rental fees, not to mention that the bigger it is, the harder it can be to navigate in areas like JLT, JBR, Marina Etc.

The boxes also add up quickly, particularly if they are specialty ones. Average-size packing boxes, hanging-garment boxes. Instead, try pulling a large garbage bag over multiple items hanging in your closet and tie a string around the tops of the hangers to keep them together. U-Haul, for example, also offers a box exchange where customers can pick up free used boxes before their move from CSS HWB, with extra assistance.

If you are relocating for work and your employer doesn’t cover the moving costs, Homeward Bound may be able to help you. Helping you to relocate your things in the minimum cost, also HWB gives you options to pay through Credit card machines.

You can also generally purchase insurance through yourself or you can ask CSS HWB to assist you with the same, HWB is registered with the best insurance companies around the world. Then, organize everything. Start by sorting your possessions into take, store, toss and donate. Then eliminate the things you won’t need in your new spot. It’ll save you time, money and a headache unpacking.

Before you start packing, photograph your belongings to help remember where things go. If you like the way you decorated or hung pictures that will make it simpler to replicate in your new home. The same goes for electronics. Taking a picture of how the cords are arranged will make it easier to put back together.

As you pack, label all of the boxes with the rooms they go in. If you know that you’ll need to get to some items right away, like bedding or the coffee maker, label those boxes as important and put them where they are easily accessible so they can be unpacked first.

Finally, pack an essentials bag for your moving day with water, your basic toiletries, and of course prescription medications.


Mission Accomplished


CSS IT has migrated it’s ERP from I-Pack to FINS

CSS Group IT department has confirmed the upgradation procedure of their software has been completed. In a recent statement released by the CSS IT Dept., the new version namely FINS will have an array of innovative features and facilities, than its predecessor I-Pack. The final migration happened on the first week of July 2016, whereby all users of FINS will benefit with the modified system.

The company has been using the software, which was developed in-house by their IT professionals some years back. Since then the system has been put on test for constant upgrades and incorporating novel features.  FINS will be used by all CSS offices in the Middle East and the Indian Sub-continent.

FINS takes pride in having novel features like browser compatibility, all format report generation, personalised screen colours and enhanced speed along with some other new features like calculator, improved memory management system and user friendly forms.  FINS has the ability to offer you a one-stop-solution across many business related applications, such as Human Resources, Payroll, Finance & Fixed Assets, Construction, Warehousing & Distribution, and General Freight Forwarding.

The system has the capacity for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the transfer of data between different companies using networks, such as the Internet. EDI becomes increasingly important as an easy mechanism for companies to carry out their core businesses. FINS, deployed on a web server, has the advantage in offering integrated services, capturing all transactions in a single module, for any company involved.


Destination Wedding


CSS FAMILY RECENTLY WITNESSED A FAIRY TALE LIKE WEDDING AT PHUKET

Destination weddings are becoming the buzzword in the Indian Culture as well. Recently CSS got lucky to witness a destination wedding. T S Kaladharan, Chairman of CSS Group arranged her daughter’s wedding in the dream like, exotic destination of Phuket.

He wanted his daughter Sasikala to wed Britto in a location he was particularly fond of – Phuket, the idyllic paradise in Thailand. Phuket – a tropical paradise in Thailand known for its mesmerising aqua blue waters, white sand beaches, glorious mountain views and the heart-warming Thai smiles!

Sasikala, daughter of Mr T S Kaladharan & Mrs Devika Kaladharan, was born and brought up in Dubai. After completing her graduation from Raffles Design Institute – Singapore, she joined the family business and currently heads the marketing division in Dubai. Britto, the eldest son of the South Indian movie producer Mr Satheesh Kuttiyil and Adv. Syra Satheesh, was born and brought up in Kerala. After completing his bachelor’s in aerospace engineering from Nottingham University, he stepped up to become a noted research scientist at Montan University, Austria.

The bride’s family hired Rainmaker Weddings to plan and organise the event. Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket and Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, two exquisite havens overlooking the breaking sounds of the waves on the famed Phuket beaches were the venues of the function.

The entire event comprised of a North Indian and Thai fused Mehendi ceremony named Daawat-E-Mehendi, for which the couple were accompanied to the venue by Serng Kratip Khoa performers – North Eastern Thai long drum musicians and dancers. The event ended with guests dancing to Bollywood music by Kerala-based DJs Ryan & Shamil. Next was the event Sangeeth, which was themed South Indian– Why This Kolaveri Nite for which the couple and their friends danced to choreographed numbers and the rockband Thaikkudam Bridge kept the gathering on their toes. The conventional Hindu Kerala wedding and Sadhya termed as the Maangalyam Sadhya and, the finale, traditional Thai wedding called Thai Vows followed by Cherry Blossom themed western reception named as Sakura Ball.

The event was well attended by invited guests, friends and family from around the globe and the invited staff members from CSS Group, company’s stake holders and network partners. Renowned personalities from the Indian film industry and Politics were among the guests. CSS Group wishes the couple a happy and joyful wedded life.


Why GRI is More Important Than GST For The Logistics Industry


There is a unique relation between all organs in the human body. They always go through the central leadership of the brain who directs them to act in a certain way and react in a certain way to an external stimulus. This is the standard procedure and in existence since mankind itself.

But two organs have turned out to be breaching this protocol for the last few years. Some outsiders (Social media avenues like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp etc.) have motivated them. These controversial organs in cahoots with each other are:

Ears

Tongue

What they have done is, they have become hand in glove with each other and skipped the intermediate link of involving the brain. So ears listen and tongue reacts instantly. Read a tweet, react. Read a post, react. Read a message, react. And react FAST. This is the new chaos called social media.

I remember, earlier days, if some people were fighting outside the railway station, suddenly a crowd would appear and in 7-8 minutes, all were giving “solutions” and in 11-12 minutes all were fighting with each other.

Same thing is happening, but not necessarily outside the rail station.

Now the point i want to make is: This rhetoric, which is aggravated by the noise around it, is about GST legislation in India. Suddenly, everyone and his uncle think that this will be very good for the logistics sector.

I will speak for our sector only in context of GST. The buzz is:

• Due to a “One Nation, One Tax “theory, all indirect taxes will be subsumed and therefore there will be ease of operations and flow of goods and services.

Remember – one nation one tax is a good theory but look within and see the difference of opinion and chaos within your own house, office, society, club, village, town. Accounts department doesn’t agree with marketing teams so how will centre and state agree and work without chaos is to be seen to be believed.

• Since goods and services will flow freely, a unified National Logistics policy will come in leading to organisation of the industry.

All i have seen in my observation of industry is that whenever a “policy “or “ organised “sector is tried to be created, the small, middle, tertiary level players get exhausted and only the large fish remain. If this is good or bad, you decide but I think it is necessary to have industry at every level of operation, especially in a country like India, where entrepreneurs are at each level.

• Then due to this policy, 100% FDI in warehousing will be possible, 3PL and 4 PL will get a boost with the entry of multinationals etc. Look, the listed players who are ready for it will benefit. But the industry as a whole will be further cornered and narrowed.

Also, never forget that FDI is just a policy. It doesn’t guarantee FDI. Look at the real estate prices on which warehouses are built which are higher than London, New York, Tokyo and I doubt if anyone will want to pay a price for it, knowing very well that the final pricing power of warehouses to customers is nil.

That brings me to a larger point:

GST is only a tax situation. Tax alone is not the Business. If the Business is there, tax comes in the picture. There are four constant players in any business:

•     Shareholders – Real owner
•     Managements and Employees – executors
•     Tax – government
•     Customers – consumers

This doesn’t change. What changes is that according to the macro and micro dynamics of that industry, the share of revenue is distributed. Let me illustrate with an example:

Let’s say in Logistics: The denominant is INR 100. The year is 2016. The Base year is 2001.

Customers benefit the most because of no pricing power. So they have almost 45 bucks of this 100 – which in 2001 would be 15 since there was no competition and logistics companies had pricing power.

Management & Employee costs have escalated over the decade so as of today; they corner 35 bucks which was 5 bucks in 2001.

Tax: new taxes like service tax have come in and direct taxes have also gone up so this corners 15 of that 100 today which was 10 in 2001.

What remains is Shareholders or Owners who have the balance 5 out of the 100 today. I am not just saying. The Net Profit After tax component of the large listed players in India and around the world is in low single digits like 5%. This in 2001 was 70 if you do the reverse math.

These 70 out of 100 enabled them to buy offices, land, warehouses, equipment etc. and the asset prices appreciated over the years. Ask a promoter today to invest 150 crores for a warehouse and then hunt for business without pricing power on the back of discounts and he will rather do nothing than hit himself on his own toe.

So what is needed?

A business situation in logistics needs to change. Pricing power needs to come in which i don’t see coming anytime soon, maybe never. It looks like the best is behind us. On immediate basis, that business situation is GRI (General Rate Increase)

That happens when demand picks up and supply can’t catch up and the business situation changes for the better. Everyone makes better profits when prices are higher. You may argue that LCL rates never go up but see your own P&L statements over the years and realise that when the prices were higher, the going was the best.

So to my mind, a business situation needs to better, not a tax situation like GST.

GRI as of now is much anticipated than GST.

But you won’t listen to me because print, digital, broadcast and social media are all shouting: GST best for Logistics. All stocks have run up in anticipation. Companies in the business of Market Cap, congratulations. You can do one thing for me at least: You don’t breach the brain in this sinful partnership of the ears and tongue.

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